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Non-profit vs Private Practice internship or Both?


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Okay I'm a psychology major in Grad school. Marriage and Family therapy to be exact.So everyone knows when your in the Psychology field it's hard out there. So I am a Graduate Assistant. And I have class at night. I need to do a internship for my program So I accepted a placement at this non-profit organization. But I have this professor who would like me to intern at her private practice. That would be amazing for my resume, and I think I would really stand out with non-profit experience and private practice experience. However my schedule would be packed Monday-Saturday.
I would do my intern in the day time Monday and Tuesday morning, class those nights. Wednesday I would work and have class. Thursday I would work and do my internship. And then Friday and Saturday I would do the private practice work. With just working Friday morning.

Everyone wants me to be careful of doing too much. But I'm someone who really can't pass up an opportunity. Does this sound like too much?? Could it be doable?? Is there one the would look better on my resume??

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I think this is a very tough decision that you will have to make where both choices will seem "right" in hindsight. A lot will depend on how well you can manage and keep to a schedule. From personal experience, balancing two internships with a full courseload is not impossible, but it does rule out quite a few things: a robust social life outside of class, frequent visits with interesting professors, work breaks in general, weekend trips, networking events, and perhaps even a relationship. You may have difficulty preparing for class and performing to the best of your abilities. 

On the flipside, upon completing your internship you will have secured the approval of an ostensibly supportive professor who has demonstrated her approval in your professional abilities. She may end up as a lifelong mentor and adviser. Ideally, you will also have diversified your resume and developed a rigorous work ethic. Your experience will only help you secure better opportunities in the future.

My advice for you would be to use a calendar app like Google Calendar and map out your potential schedule for the duration of this schedule. I find that looking at my work/class hours on a calendar often serves as confirmation that, "Yes, I can do this," or "Holy cow, this is WAY too much for me to handle." 

Additionally - and I should have mentioned this at the start - I would speak with your internship supervisor and professor and ask whether or not you can work for less hours. Don't end up taking on too much work and disappointing your supervisor/professors because you're constantly distracted and tardy with your assignments. 

Finally, I would keep things in perspective and ask yourself whether or not this added bonus to your resume/potential career is worth the extra work. If you already have a strong portfolio, it may not be necessary to overwork yourself. Likewise, if you already have a strong mentor network, you may not need another one. 

I've had two separate occasions where I took on two internships simultaneously as an undergraduate while taking a full course load + graduate courses. The first occasion was a fantastic success, as both internships (a non-profit and a think tank) ended up opening doors that otherwise would have been sealed shut. The director of the non-profit ended up writing me a stellar recommendation which secured me a prestigious fellowship, and I used the think tank experience to demonstrate my experience for work at other think tanks. The second occasion was a letdown -  I felt that I spread myself too thin and ended up doing just average in all my of commitments.

As long as you're careful and pragmatic in your decisions, I'm sure you'll be fine. This is a good dilemma to have! Best of luck.



Edited by StyLeD
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